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News in the Humanosphere: Russia and China block Aleppo ceasefire deal

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini speaks to the security council at U.N. Head Quarters. (Credit: European External Action Service/flickr)

Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council proposal to stop fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday, thwarting flurried international efforts to end violence that has killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks. A Syrian and Iranian-backed push to retake the flash-point city has brought President Bashar al-Assad close to his biggest victory in more than five years of war. Russia, a key ally of Assad’s, has vetoed several Security Council resolutions aimed at easing the war. On Monday, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the latest proposal was rejected because it ignored parallel diplomatic efforts with the United States. Washington’s representative, Deputy Ambassador Michele Sison, described that remark as a ‘made-up alibi.’  ‘We will not let Russia string along the Security Council while waiting for a compromise that never seems to come,’ she said. (WaPo

LRA child soldier ICC trial begins…The trial of Dominic Ongwen is set to start on December 6. The indictment includes a long list of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, torture, maiming, slavery and the use of child soldiers. ‘None of it is true,’ Ongwen said at his pre-trial in January. It will be the first ICC case where the perpetrator is simultaneously a victim. “It is easy to argue that Dominic Ongwen was abducted as a child and therefore didn’t know what he was doing. His lawyers will be pleading for an acquittal,’ said Charles Tolit Atiya, researcher at Makerere University’s Human Rights & Peace Center. (DW

Top Stories

Two Russian army medics were killed Monday in rebel shelling of a field hospital in Syria’s Aleppo, Moscow said, blaming Western nations who support rebel fighters. (AFP

Thousands of protesters in North Dakota celebrated after the federal government ruled against a controversial pipeline project but were mindful the fight is not over, as the company building the line said it had no plans for re-routing the pipe. (Reuters

A Gambian court freed a prominent lawyer and 18 supporters on bail on Monday pending an appeal of their jail sentence for “unlawful assembly”, in a sign that President Yahya Jammeh’s shock election defeat last week will end years of repression. (Reuters

Libyan forces said on Monday they were close to securing a final patch of land where Islamic State have been holding out in their former North African stronghold of Sirte, though there were reports of continuing skirmishes. (Reuters

Shavkat Mirziyoyev, long-serving prime minister of Uzbekistan, has become its second president, winning 88.61 percent of the vote in an election criticized by Western observers. (Reuters

An internal United Nations inquiry has identified 25 peacekeepers from Burundi and 16 from Gabon accused of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Central African Republic in 2014 and 2015, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday. (Reuters

Nigeria said on Monday that aid agencies, including the United Nations, were exaggerating the levels of hunger in the strife-torn northeast to get more funding from international donors. (Reuters

The U.N. refugee agency distributed aid on Monday to dozens of Iraqi families uprooted from their homes in and around the city of Mosul, warning that their needs will only increase as winter progresses and temperatures continue to fall below freezing. (AP

Linking aid for countries in the Middle East and Africa to how they manage migration can create dangerous precedents, the United Nations top refugee official warned the European Union on Monday. (Reuters

India is giving priority to moving toward a natural gas-based economy and efforts must be made to raise local production of the fuel while also creating the infrastructure to import it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an energy conference on Monday. (Reuters


The German government said on Monday nobody should try to make political capital out of a criminal case involving an Afghan refugee suspected of raping and murdering a German university student. (Reuters


Podcast: Can This Latest Round of North Korea Sanctions Do the Trick? (Global Dispatches

Brexit case in Britain’s Supreme Court – how will it work? (Reuters

Women tap into new roles as mobile internet scheme targets rural India (Guardian

When a Dictator Finally Respects the People’s Will (The Citizen

Leave No One Behind: The Right to Development (IPS

If Trump’s America shrinks humanitarian support, will China fill the void? (IRIN

Ebola in Sierra Leone: ‘The scars still show. People are very angry’ (Guardian

For Africa’s Disabled, a Life of Poverty and Struggle (Deutsche Welle

What’s behind persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya (AP

How has our rising palm oil consumption affected the communities where it comes from? (Development Impact


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